Application of a Group II Campylobacter Bacteriophage To Reduce Strains of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli Colonizing Broiler Chickens

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Abstract:

Members of the genus Campylobacter are frequently responsible for human enteric disease worldwide. Persistent Campylobacter contamination of poultry meat is a common problem that represents a significant food safety risk through the consumption of undercooked poultry meat or through cross-contamination of other foods during the preparation of poultry. Bacteriophage therapy is one possible means by which this colonization of poultry could be controlled, thus limiting the entry of Campylobacter into the human food chain. Previously group III phages with genome sizes of approximately 140 kb had been administered to Campylobacter jejuni–colonized poultry. The application of a group II Campylobacter phage, CP220, with a genome size of 197 kb is described here. Phage CP220 was administered to both C. jejuni– and C. coli–colonized birds. A 2-log CFU/g decline in cecal Campylobacter counts was observed after 48 h in birds colonized with C. jejuni HPC5 and administered with a single 7-log PFU dose of CP220. The incidence of phage resistance developing in Campylobacter colonized chickens upon exposure to virulent phages was determined to be 2%, and the resistant types remained a minor component of the population. To achieve a similar reduction in Campylobacter numbers in C. coli OR12–colonized birds, a 9-log PFU dose of CP220 was required. Using phage to reduce Campylobacter colonization in poultry offers the prospect of a sustainable intervention measure that may limit the entry of these pathogens into the human food chain.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Food Sciences, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, UK; Food Sciences Department, Faculty of Environmental Agricultural Sciences, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt 2: Division of Food Sciences, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, UK 3: Division of Food Sciences, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, UK; Hygiene, Animal Behavior and Management Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Benha University, Tukh, Egypt

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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